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China has not ‘crossed line’ on lethal aid to Russia: Blinken

China has not provided substantial military aid to Russia, says Antony Blinken

By AFP
March 23, 2023
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies during a Senate Appropriations State-Foreign Operations Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill March 22, 2023.—AFP
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies during a Senate Appropriations State-Foreign Operations Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill March 22, 2023.—AFP

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday that China has not provided substantial military aid to Russia despite Beijing´s ramping up of diplomatic support.

Blinken has publicly warned for weeks that China is considering Russian requests for weapons to fight in Ukraine, with some reports indicating limited shipments by Chinese companies to Moscow.

“As we speak today, we have not seen them cross that line,” America´s top diplomat said in response to a question at a Senate committee on whether China was providing “lethal aid” to Russia.

President Xi Jinping this week paid a visit to Moscow in which he pushed a Chinese proposal for a ceasefire in the war -- a call met with skepticism by Washington, which fears Russia would use a pause to regroup battered forces on the ground.

“I think their diplomatic support, their political support, and to some extent material support for Russia certainly goes against our interest in bringing this war to an end,” Blinken said of China.

He also said the United States would encourage other countries to extradite Russian President Vladimir Putin if he visits following an arrest warrant issued recently by the International Criminal Court. “I think that anyone who is a party to the court and has obligations should fulfill their obligations,” Blinken said.